August 2017: 5 Best Children’s Books (With A Musical Theme)

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This month, I was excited to try out a new idea. Worthiness ambassador, Niki Meadows (https://nikimeadows.com) told me that she always listens to classical music while reading to her children. She claims that it enhances the reading experience, and that it allows her to be more animated as she follows the rise-and-fall of the music.




Studies have been conducted into whether listening to music is helpful when studying or not, and the results are always inconclusive. It is felt that listening can be beneficial, but only if the participant can enjoy the music, without being distracted by it. However, this is slightly different. This is suggesting that the music becomes a part of the experience. That it complements and enhances the text, making the story better and more alive.

We tried it using Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. This is a great piece for storytelling. It is made up of a number of different ‘movements’, with titles such as ‘The Swan’, ‘Aquarium’ and ‘The Elephant’. They are full of character, variety, and humour. We tried reading one of J’s favourite stories, The Mouse Who Sailed The Seas. I followed the shape of music, getting louder and quieter, faster and slower, as the music moved. I spoke with a smooth tone during the long legato phrases, and a sharper and more detached tone during the staccato sections.

It brought the story to life! It made it more exciting, and definitely made me work harder to energise it (something that’s quite hard to do when you’re reading it for the 100th time!) This did require quite a lot of forward thinking though – not quite as simple as just picking up a story and reading it! Definitely one to try though – give it a go and let me know what you think.

Anyway, back to the stories! Here are our fave 5 best children’s books for August 2017, all with a musical theme:

Ten Little Dinosaurs – Mike Brownlow & Simon Rickerty

Suitable for : Children age 1 – 6 years

This was one of the books J got his birthday, to fit with his dinosaur-themed party. It’s a brilliant story of 10 dinosaurs and all the crazy things that happen to them when they venture out on their own. It has a great sing-song tone to it, and the words are hilarious. It has a happy ending as well, despite the dinosaurs getting ‘slurped’ and ‘splooshed’ and ‘snapped’ while on their travels. This book is a good introduction to numbers, as the rhyme counts down from 10 dinosaurs to 1.

Oi Dog – Jim Field & Kes Gray

Suitable for: Children aged 1 – 6 years

I loved Oi Frog, and this is next in the series – these books are so funny. The words make up a nonsense rhyme about which animals are allowed to sit on what. ‘Slugs will sit on plugs, flies will sit on pies, crickets will sit on tickets, and moths will sit on cloths’. The rhyming words are very clever, and great for expanding your child’s vocabulary. The punchline at the end will have you laughing out loud, and this is one you can enjoy over and over.

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy – Lynley Dodd

Suitable for: Children aged 1 – 6 years

Hairy Maclary is a dog. This book tells the story of him and his friends as they set out for a walk together. Their names are all very funny, the pictures are captivating, and you and your child will have lots of funny following their adventures. Little ones will enjoy the colours and the rhymes, and older ones will love the tongue-twisters as you try to get your mouth around the unusual words!




Moo Moo Mooing – Ben Whitehouse & Melanie Joyce

Suitable for: Children aged 1 – 6 years

J adores this book! It follows the story of a noisy little cow, who seems to pop up everywhere on the farmyard. Each page shows us a different animal and different farm activity, but the cow seems to always be there! There are lots of lovely animal sound-effects in this books. These are great for teaching children about farm animals and the noises they make.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat: Sing-along Sound Book

 

Suitable for: Children aged 1 – 4 years

This is a great musical book for any fans of the nursery rhyme! The colourful pictures take you through 4 verses of the song, while the buttons provide the melody and appropriate sound effects. It’s colourful and noisy – what more do children want?



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